Friday 01 August, 2014

‘ISRO examining business model for industries in satellite, rocket production’

Published On: Fri, Apr 4th, 2014 | Astrophysics | By BioNews

The Indian space agency is working at preparing a business model to partner with industries – public and private – so that they have a higher level of participation in the space sector, said its chief.

“We are working at a possible model for investment, sharing of technology and responsibility with the industries. The response from the industries – public and private – is positive. It will take three or four years to arrive at a proper model,” said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K.Radhakrishnan.

To a question whether the model will be public-private-participation (PPP) model, he said: “I don’t want to say one model. We will have a model that will work in India.”

He said the industries’ participation is sought to increase the production of satellites and rockets so that ISRO can focus on other core areas.

“We had discussions with industry bodies,” Radhakrishnan said to queries about the names of the companies that have showed interest.

During the 12th Plan period, ISRO is planning to have 60 missions including satellites and rockets.

Speaking about the country’s satellite navigation system after the successful launch of IRNSS-1B satellite (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1B), he said the satellite is in good health.

The next task is the raising of the satellite’s orbit.

According to Radhakrishnan, satellite navigation systems of the US and some other countries are global.

He said two more such satellites will be launched by the end of 2014 so that the system can send signals.

According to Radhakrishnan, three more navigational satellites will be launched early 2015 and the full system will be in place by mid-2015.

Queried about the outlay of the navigational system, Radhakrishnan said each satellite will cost around Rs.150 crore and there will be a total of nine (seven in the space and two as stand-by on ground). The total cost for the satellites will be around Rs.1,350 crore.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL version used to put the satellites in orbit costs around Rs.130 crore and thus the seven rockets would involve an outlay of around Rs.910 crore.

In addition there will be investments made in setting up a chain of ground stations which will be around Rs.1,000 crore, he said.

According to Radhakrishnan, ISRO will be launching the French satellite SPOT-7 and four other foreign satellites in a PSLV rocket and also test its heavier rocket – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III version this June.

He said the rocket’s cryogenic engine will be passive one. It is getting ready and by May 15 it will arrive here, he said.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) director S.Ramakrishnan said that the space crew capsule that will be sent up in the GSLV-Mark III rocket will be mainly to test its re-entry into the atmosphere and its recovery.

“The capsule is not habitable. The GSLV-Mark III rocket will be for testing its aerodynamic stability,” he said.

Queried about the status of Mars orbiter, director A.S.Kiran Kumar said the orbiter is 35 million kilometers away from the earth traveling around 700,000 lakh km per day.

He said it takes two minutes for the signals to reach the Mars orbiter.

“The trajectory correction of Mars orbiter will be done in June,” he said.

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